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Tribute to Abbu
Mushfika Ahmed Mumu

Last two weeks have been the toughest time of my life. My most favourite person in this world is no more. Walking around the house, I still feel like he may just appear around the corner, walking down the corridor, be in the backyard or maybe he is just sleeping. Every inch of this house has his touch. Everything reminds me of you. Keep replaying Abbu’s last few moments in my head over and over again. Keep asking myself why couldn’t I be a better daughter to him, why didn’t I tell him more I love you the most Abbu, why couldn’t I get just a little more time, why did he have to get PSP….. then I tell my sad broken heart that Allah knows best, what happens, happens for the best. Alhamdulillah, I got the privilege to be right his side when he left, Alhamdulillah he left us at his home surrounded by me, my brother and mum, Alhamdulillah he left us right after we gave him a sponge bath and put fresh cloths on him. Allah (swt) took him peacefully and gently as his character was, Alhamdulillah.

My dad was a simple village boy, so many stories he would tell me about his adventurous childhood growing up in the village in Bogura, jumping in the rivers, running through rice paddies, fishing with his friends. Everyone in the village loved him; his teachers loved him because of his kind gentle character and caring nature. I remember as a child every once in a while, when we visited the village, everyone treated me extra special for being “Motahar er beti” meaning Motahar’s daughter. They would offer me treats and would be over the moon happy if I even sat down in their porch, everyone was extremely loving towards me because of their love and respect for my dad. I absolutely loved my dada bari, it was huge full of farm animals, sweet memories of chasing after chickens, pigeons, cuddling little lambs, going to watch my cousins fishing, eat delicious pitha made by my chachi, eat pan shupari with dadi, then in the evening we would all sit around the fire pit and chit chat. My dad was loved by all his siblings and their spouses, never fought or argued with anyone, because he was just not that type of man.

My parents met while studying at the Bangladesh Agricultural University, fell in love and got married on a super rainy day. Everyone in my mum’s family loved my dad. All of my mum’s siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews adored him because of his friendly easy-going nature. He was the easy going dulavai they could joke around with, he was the funny caring khalu/fupa my cousins loved. To some my dad was like a father figure after my maternal grandfather passed away.

During Dad’s zoom funeral, my heart was filled with all of dad’s colleague’s speeches. I am so grateful to each and every one who joined in to pray for my dad, for those that organised such program and took part in making dua for him. I will always remember the kindness you have shown my dad. He has always carried out his actions with integrity and honesty, for everything he did for the community. Everyone trusted him to be fair and just always.

When we lived in England my dad used to pick me up after school. I still vividly remember walking home from school I would skip along in front of him then turn around and wait for him to catchup to me, then skip along again. I refused to eat unless he would tell me stories, so he had to makeup stories on the fly. Every time he prayed, I use to stand and wait behind him for sajdah , then climb his back when he did it. He used to tie my hair up in half ponytail hair style as I had long hair when I was 5/6 years old. I would ask Abbu how do you know how to do this complex hair style, to which his reply was by seeing other’s hair. It would amaze me that my dad was so amazing he could see something and then do it just like that. I would proudly tell mum look Abbu can do this but you can’t, mum would smile but never protested. He was a superman in my eyes. Growing up, Abbu always took care of all my needs, he would always sacrifice himself over my benefit but expected nothing in return. He was a gentle selfless man.

These last couple of days every time I held and kissed Dad’s frail weak hands my heart ached, at the same time was filled with gratitude …….
These hands have changed so many nappies of myself,
These hands have bathed me, carried me, lifted me, patted me to sleep as a baby,
These hands have fed me while telling me made up stories,
These hands held my hands to my first day of school,
These hands have made so many of my school lunches,
These hands have played so many chess games, even when you were taking your afternoon naps but I wanted to play chess with you I took your hands to make your moves on the chess board,
These hands played monopoly, and taught me so many card games,
These hands have sheltered me from mum when I broke her rules, you always took my side,
These hands plaited my hair in french braids before every singing performance, other aunties would be surprised that my dad did my hair,
These hands have drove me to so many places, concerts, cricket matches, singing and dancing programs, you never said no,
These hands have driven me to my first day of university and the day of my graduation ceremony,
These hands have protected me from countless spiders,
These hands always made sure my car was full of petrol,
These hands have made the best tea, I use to look forward to your perfect tea every time I came over,
These hands put henna on me before every Eid,
These hands decorated my engagement, Akd, baby shower stages and numerous decorating pieces,
These hands painted my room and wrote “Welcome Aydin” for the arrival of his first grandson’s visit to Nana bari,
These hands have showered me with unconditional love all my life, been part of all my most important occasions …….

إِنَّا لِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
“Verily we belong to Allah, and truly to Him shall we return.”

Alhamdulillah I was born to these beautiful hands of a selfless man, I am so grateful Allah (swt) blessed me with all these years with you in my life. I am a proud and grateful “Motahar er beti”.
I miss you so much Abbu, how do I deal with this new norm of not having you in my life anymore? It aches inside to even think it. I will continue to make dua for you for the rest of my life! I know I will see you again one day in the heavens Insha Allah. I will come and find you Abbu and hold these precious hands again. Eagerly waiting for that day and until then may Al Latif The Gentle One, look after my gentle soul Abbu with comfort and care, Ameen.

‎رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
‎”My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.”

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